A 17-year-old student from Truro High School for Girls has written a research paper unpicking the American political system and questioning whether the caucus system, designed to appeal to ardent political supporters, is a helpful part of a modern democracy.

Year 13 Iris has written the research paper, entitled ‘Are presidential caucuses harmful to democracy?’, as part of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

Iris said: “I was watching the US election unfold last year and really wanted to investigate the controversy around it. A big part of the research was looking into political science, which I’ve never studied before and it’s so interesting. I came to the conclusion that caucuses have the potential to be hugely positive but are part of a wider system that it is flawed in many ways.”

Iris undertook extensive academic research as part of the project including sifting through huge amounts of political commentary in the media, delving into academic journals on political science and even consulting with a professor of US politics at Oxford University.

Iris has her sights set on eventually working in Westminster and hopes to work in the US as a political organiser after university in order to make that dream a reality.

Alongside studying History, English and Classical Civilisation at A Level, she has undertaken work experience in Parliament, been closely involved with the British Youth Council and even remotely volunteered on a US senate campaign last summer.

It’s an exciting time for Iris, whose impressive UCAS application resulted in offers to read History and Politics from UCL, Cardiff, Kent and Newcastle. Once the results of her A Level exams are available in August, she hopes to join UCL, which ranks among the Top 10 “super-elite” universities in the world in the QS University Rankings.